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ACIM Journal

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This is a journal about A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I will compare ACIM with an idea I have come up with called Lazy Yoga. It's a general journal, so feel free to post your own comments, criticism, experiences, questions, etc about ACIM.

"A Course in Miracles (also referred to as ACIM or the Course) is a 1976 book by Helen Schucman, a curriculum for those seeking to achieve spiritual transformation. ... The Course consists of three sections: the "Text", "Workbook for Students," and "Manual for Teachers". ... The "Workbook" presents 365 lessons, one for each day of the year" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Course_in_Miracles

More information about ACIM can be found here: https://acim.org/

Definition: Lazy Yoga is about automatically overcoming entropy.

"In statistical mechanics, entropy is an extensive property of a thermodynamic system. ... it is often said that entropy is an expression of the disorder, or randomness of a system, or of the lack of information about it." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

Instead of elaborating on what Lazy Yoga means in more detail I will start comparing it directly to the lessons in A Course in Miracles, starting with Lession 1:

 

ACIM Lesson 1 - Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

1. Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:

This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.

2. Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:

That door does not mean anything.
That body does not mean anything.
That lamp does not mean anything.
That sign does not mean anything.
That shadow does not mean anything.

3. Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. That is the purpose of the exercise. The state­ment should merely be applied to anything you see. As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.

4. Each of the first three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening. Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

 

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-1/


Key insight from Lesson 1: The key insight here is that meaning is only possible within limited situations. When looking at life as a whole it's impossible to define meaning.
 

Detailed explanation

Life is a process that creates meaning. This is an obvious fact in practice since things have meaning. To make a somewhat formal analysis the term meaning needs to be defined.

Definition: The meaning of something is an attribute of that something determined by a particular context.

When looking at the big picture and using that definition of meaning, at life as the manifestation of the totality of reality, a statement like: "The meaning of life is to create meaning" is a logical fallacy since totality has no larger context to give it meaning.

And Yoga means unity:

"The Sanskrit noun योग yoga is derived from the root yuj "to attach, join, harness, yoke"." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga

So from a perpective of Lazy Yoga as the unity of total reality, it is true that nothing has meaning in itself. Only within particular and separate (not unity) contexts do things have meaning. ACIM Lesson 1 is therefore consistent with Lazy Yoga which in turn is logically consistent with the given definition of meaning.

The same is true in a general sense even for immaterial things. Any description, concept or information only has meaning within a particular context. One can argue that the totality of reality is itself the largest context which gives meaning to what's in our reality. However attempting to give meaning to reality itself fails because it is itself the largest context and has no larger context to give it meaning.

Practical example

There is meaning to things and events in our daily life such as calendar time. Today it's Thursday and tomorrow it will be Friday. That meaning in turn depends on the context, in this case earth's orbit around the sun and the rotation around its axis. And it's clear that even such global meaning is local on this planet and even culturally dependent, such as different calendar systems.

Personal consequences

Recognizing that meaning is dependent on context allows me to see meaning as something that can change over time and that meaning is local instead of universal.

Global perspective

The global perspective is here described within the context of the global ego.

Definition: The global ego is our planet struggling against entropy.

The global ego has existed for the entire officially known history of planet Earth including all its geological record. And since this is a comparison with ACIM the term miracle is useful to define.

Definition: A miracle is an event that transcends entropy and classical causality.

As an example of a miracle, consider an untidy room. The messy state of the room is a form of entropy. And in ordinary daily life we would have to put in effort to clean the room. A miracle in this case is if the room cleaned itself without the help of external means or effort.

From a global perspective the aim with Lazy Yoga and I assume also with ACIM is to transcend and include the global ego. And during earth's entire history and even today meaning has been formed out of this struggle against entropy. Even from a global perspective meaning has become limited to exclude miracles on a secular consensus level within mainstream science, in academia and generally in our whole civilization.

Integral change

Integral change here means transcend and include such as described by Ken Wilber with his AQAL model and by Clare W. Graves in Spiral Dynamics among others. Humanity has been living with a rigid and absolute framework of meaning. Starting to question and examining the meaning we have attributed to things, events and relationships opens up the possibility of developing new sets of meaning.

It is even possible to become flexible enough to be able to move from different perspectives giving various forms of meaning to the largest perspective of all-that-is which transcends meaning altogether.

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💙


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Lesson 2 in A Course in Miracles is similar to Lesson 1:

ACIM Lesson 2 - I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

 

1. The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.

2. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-2/


Key insight from Lesson 2: Only from an individual person's own perspective do things have their full meaning.

Detailed explanation

What ACIM means by "I" here I assume is the separate context of an individual. Within that separate context of the person's own experience, things have meaning. And the full meaning of each thing is confined to the particular context of the separate indivual.

There is of course consensus collectively about the meaning of things. Nonetheless to get the full meaning of something we have to look at it from the context of each individual person. And from a Lazy Yoga perspective the context of an individual person is non-unity and the meaning of things is located in that separate context, not in the overall Lazy Yoga perspective. ACIM Lesson 2 is therefore in agreement with Lazy Yoga.

Practical example

As a practical example the iPhone has a collective meaning as a smartphone able to run apps. And for a person who owns an iPhone the meaning is different than for a person who owns an Android phone and never has used an iPhone. And the meaning of things is historically dependent. 20 years ago there wasn't even any iPhone! At that time there was no context yet within which to give it meaning.

Personal consequences

I recognize that the full meaning given to things, relationships and events is something that only exists in my own personal experience, just as the full meaning for another person is confined to his or her personal experience. This gives me opportunity to start seeing meaning from new and different perspectives. Also, from the biggest picture, all meaning dissolves into the totality of what is, and when my consciousness rests on the highest level of Lazy Yoga, my concerns about meaning drop away.

Global perspective

Each individual person's context has been formed within the global ego and thus has the same fundamental limitations. The struggle against entropy has been programmed into us as individuals. And within that limited view our personal meaning of things is colored by the constant experience of having to struggle through life. Miracles are a way of breaking out of that separate and limited view and they give new meaning to things, events and relationships.

Integral change

To "put oneself in someone else's shoes" when done successfully is a form of transcending one's own fixed and personal set of meaning. And to question the meaning one has given to how the world works adds a potential for radical change in one's life and in society at large, potentially even to the point of activating the possibility of miracles.

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In Lesson 3 the concept of understanding is introduced:

ACIM Lesson 3 - I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

1. Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgment. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else. 

2. The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unham­pered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like an­other; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-3/


Key insight from Lesson 3: Understanding is only possible to limited degrees.

Detailed description

To understand something is related to the meaning of it. This can be expressed with a definition.

Definition: Understanding something means that the meaning of it is aligned with some truth about it.

An additional definition can be made for full understanding which is different than understanding in general as in the first definition that can be limited.

Definition: Full understanding is when the full meaning is aligned with all the truth.

What we have then is that Lesson 3 is describing full understanding. And since we always have entropy clouding our understanding we never have full understanding.

Physicist Leonard Susskind said that entropy is hidden information. The validity of that claim can be seen in for example a rusting car. We see the deterioration of the car as entropy, while if we knew all information involved in the process the entropy becomes replaced by an orderly process, assuming that nothing is truly random (which Stephen Hawking and Stephen Wolfram have suggested and which I use as a hypothesis here).

It may seem that by knowing all information about something it gives full understanding. That however requires that information can be treated as truly separate units, such as bits.

The definition of understanding given here says that understanding is always dependent on meaning which according to the earlier definition of meaning requires a context. And because Lazy Yoga claims that everything is interconnected, full understanding requires the context of all-that-is which we saw earlier removes all meaning. Therefore full understanding is never possible, and that is in line with the title of Lesson 3.

Practical example

When looking at for instance a waterfall in nature, do we understand it? We may understand some aspects of it, such as it being water falling and that gravity is pulling the water down. But we can’t fully understand the waterfall or even fully understand a single water molecule in the waterfall.

Personal consequences

At first I might find it depressing that I can never understand something fully. And that I don’t really understand anything other than at best to a limited degree. Yet when thinking about it a bit more I realize that it’s also very liberating. With Lazy Yoga I can relax my need for trying to understand things fully.

Global perspective

The whole world is still based on taking understanding for granted as something our modern civilization has grasped to a large extent. From a Lazy Yoga perspective and according to ACIM the truth points in the other direction; that we as humanity understand very little and can never fully understand anything.

Integral change

The seemingly bleak claim that we can never fully understand anything can transform our understanding to better reflect the truth. Partial understanding is always possible and the realization of the impossibility of full understanding allows us to transcend the futile kinds of attempts to understand things. 

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Lesson 4 starts examining the nature of thoughts:

ACIM Lesson 4 - These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

1. Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of un­happy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, how­ever, select only the thoughts you think are “bad.” You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad.” This is why they do not mean anything.

2. In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad.” None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either.

3. This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaning­ful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to rec­ognize what is the same and what is different.

4. In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about _________ does not mean anything.
It is like the things I see in this room [on this street, and so on].

5. You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful. This practice is useful, but is not a substi­tute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

6. Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-4/

Key insight from Lesson 4: Thoughts are objects that are internal to the mind and external to consciousness.

Detailed description

In Lazy Yoga there is a difference between mind and consciousness. To make the distinction clear, both terms are defined.

Definition: Consciousness is a state of being aware as a self.

Definition: Mind is that which consciousness is aware of.

With those definitions, thoughts are parts of the mind, not of consciousness. And thoughts are objects, patterns of information and are therefore included in the same earlier definitions of meaning and understanding.

Just as how Lesson 1 showed that material objects and physical beings lack meaning from the perspective of the totality of reality, so do thoughts lack meaning on that highest level. Lazy Yoga's definitions of consciousness and mind allow the possibility of being in alignment with ACIM Lesson 4.

Practical example

In this example a man needs to pay his bills and has too little money to pay the bills. In the man’s mind are worrisome thoughts about being unable to pay the bills. From the perspective of the man’s mind, those thoughts have lots of meaning, which from the perspective of his consciousness the thoughts lack any and all forms of meaning.

Personal consequences

I identify myself with my mind, so for me it seems that all my thoughts have meaning. And while I can see intellectually that my consciousness is already connected to all that is, I haven’t yet the actual experience of observing my thoughts as being empty of meaning.

This situation is one of the things I’m interested in examining to see if my perception will change as I continue to compare the lessons in ACIM to Lazy Yoga.

Global perspective

Humanity is still very dominated by being identified with the mind. With more and more people starting to realize the nonpersonal nature of thoughts, the situation will start to change.

Integral change

Being able to move between consciousness with nonpersonal thoughts and identification with the mind with thoughts having meaning is an integral trait. The ordinary state of humanity today is to be stuck in only the mind with thoughts having meaning. A possible integral change is that people will start to experiencing the nonpersonal nature of thoughts while still being able to move into personal thoughts with meaning. A both/and instead of either/or scenario.

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Lesson 4 starts examining the nature of thoughts:

ACIM Lesson 4 - These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

1. Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of un­happy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, how­ever, select only the thoughts you think are “bad.” You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad.” This is why they do not mean anything.

2. In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad.” None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either.

3. This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaning­ful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to rec­ognize what is the same and what is different.

4. In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about _________ does not mean anything.
It is like the things I see in this room [on this street, and so on].

5. You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful. This practice is useful, but is not a substi­tute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

6. Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-4/
 

Key insight from Lesson 4: Thoughts are objects that are internal to the mind and external to consciousness.

Detailed description

In Lazy Yoga there is a difference between mind and consciousness. To make the distinction clear, both terms are defined.

Definition: Consciousness is a state of being aware as a self.

Definition: Mind is that which consciousness is aware of.

With those definitions, thoughts are parts of the mind, not of consciousness. And thoughts are objects, patterns of information and are therefore included in the same earlier definitions of meaning and understanding.

Just as how Lesson 1 showed that material objects and physical beings lack meaning from the perspective of the totality of reality, so do thoughts lack meaning on that highest level. Lazy Yoga's definitions of consciousness and mind therefore allow the possibility of being in alignment with ACIM Lesson 4.

Practical example

In this example a man needs to pay his bills and has too little money to pay the bills. In the man’s mind are worrisome thoughts about being unable to pay the bills. From the perspective of the man’s mind, those thoughts have lots of meaning, while from the perspective of his consciousness the thoughts lack any and all forms of meaning.

Personal consequences

I identify myself with my mind, so for me it seems that all my thoughts have meaning. And while I can see intellectually that my consciousness is already connected to all that is, I haven’t yet the actual experience of observing my thoughts as being empty of meaning.

This situation is one of the things I’m interested in examining to see if my perception will change as I continue to compare the lessons in ACIM to Lazy Yoga.

Global perspective

Humanity is still very dominated by being identified with the mind. With more and more people starting to realize the nonpersonal nature of thoughts, the situation will start to change.

Integral change

Being able to move between consciousness with nonpersonal thoughts and identification with the mind with thoughts having meaning is an integral trait. The ordinary state of humanity today is to be stuck in only the mind with thoughts having meaning. A possible integral change is that people will start to experiencing the nonpersonal nature of thoughts while still being able to move into personal thoughts with meaning. A both/and instead of either/or scenario.

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In Lesson 5 we learn that painful emotions are unrelated to our thoughts:

ACIM Lesson 5 - I am never upset for the reason I think.

1. This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifi­cally to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true. However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.

2. When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it. For example:

I am not angry at _________ for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of _________ for the reason I think.

3. But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.

4. In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others. It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:

There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

5. Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.

6. You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others. If this occurs, think first of this:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

7. Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it. Further examples are:

I am not worried about _________ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed about _________ for the reason I think.

Three or four times during the day is enough.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-5/

Key insight from Lesson 5: The true reason for things is above our personal and limited concerns. 

Detailed explanation

Upset is a form of suffering. In Lazy Yoga suffering is necessary for growth out of lower stages of human development. Suffering is a stage meant to be transcended in order to reach our next level of development as humanity.

The suffering itself is a result of a kind of friction: our struggle against entropy. And the reason for the suffering is love in disguise. Love here means the general concept of it defined as follows:

Definition: Love is wholeness in harmony.

Reality itself is always a wholeness. But is reality always in harmony? According to Lazy Yoga, actually yes it is. Even so-called empty space is not empty but full of very precisely ordered energy. Consequently all of reality is love when looking at it from the biggest picture. This is also in line with what Leo has said in his videos.

For growth and development of a civilization out of early stages requires that love disguises itself as an obstacle and an experience of seeming separation from the fullness of love, even as the opposite of itself such as fear, violence, despair and hate. That's a crucial part of how creativity and uniqueness is produced in our universe.

The true reason for why we are upset is not our thoughts about situations but because of missing the bigger picture and remaining identified with a limited part of our mind. Lazy Yoga and Lesson 5 say the same thing in slightly different ways.

Practical example:

A patient gets upset when the doctor says that the patient suffers from terminal cancer. In ordinary common daily life, this is a very valid reason for being upset, yet we see from the bigger picture at the situation as being more than just the cancer itself in isolation. Everything is interconnected and it's a mistake to believe that the cancer itself is more than a surface level cause dependent on the meaning we give it.

Personal consequences

I find it hard to swallow that if something disastrous would happen to me that I can recognize that my upset is a mistaken view. I see the logic behind that reasoning though so we will see later on in the ACIM lessons if they will help me getting a real and practical understanding and experience of transcending being upset for reasons I think.

Global perspective

It almost goes without saying that most people feel like I do here, that it seems very difficult to realize in practice that the reason for our upset is unrelated to what we think about situations. Still, assuming there is truth to that claim, we as humanity will change, sooner or later, because it's inconceivable to be deluded forever.

Integral change

According to the integral position, our upset for the reason we think will be included and transcended. This can be done by allowing the upset through understanding that it has relative meaning on a surface level and at the same time take it less seriously because the understanding will give us means of resolving those situations.

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Lesson 6 takes what was said in the previous lesson a step further:

ACIM Lesson 6 - I am upset because I see something that is not there.

1. The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones. Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea. For example:

I am angry at _________ because I see something that is not there.
I am worried about _________ because I see something that is not there.

2. Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose. However, the three or four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind search­ing, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.

3. Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than to others, remind yourself of the two cautions stated in the previous lesson:

There are no small upsets. They are all equally dis­turbing to my peace of mind.

And:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

Key insight from Lesson 6: Our upsetting thoughts are themselves that which upsets us.

Detailed explanation

How can it be possible that when we are upset about something we see something that is not there? Clearly we have our thoughts about what is making us upset, so how can that be nothing? The trick here, for a lack of a better term, is to recognize that what we see is the thoughts about the upset, and only that! We mistake our thoughts for pointing to something other than themselves being the cause of our upset.

The thoughts themselves are not a part of that which we believe causes the upset. The thoughts come after the problematic situation already existing. And then we misinterpret those thoughts for representing something other than themselves. But they don't. The buck stops at the thoughts. Sure, the thoughts point to that which we interpret as a problem, but that is our own evaluation. The thoughts themselves in this case are the evaluation itself and there is nothing else but those thoughts other that at best other people agreeing with our interpretation.

In Lazy Yoga all thoughts and all events are in the mind. Everything is in the mind. So there actually is a connection between the thoughts and the upset in Lazy Yoga. The distinction here is that ACIM is in Lesson 6 talking about the individual mind of the person. That's only one aspect of the mind according to Lazy Yoga. And when the individual mind experiences itself as separate from everything else it is called the ego (ACIM may have another definition of ego, but in essence the same meaning).

Definition: The ego is a part of the mind that experiences itself as separate from everything else in the same mind.

Even the physical body of a person is separate from the ego. Therefore in ego identification we say things like: my body, and I have a body, not I am the body.

With that definition Lazy Yoga says the same thing as ACIM Lesson 6.

Practical example

Let's say that a man sitting in his new car is hit by another car. The event itself is a fact. And the man getting upset is a fact. But what was the reason for the upset? Some bystanders even watched the event with glee, so evidently they were not upset.

The upset is the man's own thoughts and accompanying emotions and physical reactions. That's it! That's all there is to the upset. There is nothing connecting the upset to the event itself, just like how a road sign showing the direction to Chicago is just a pointer and not a part of the city itself.

Personal consequences

I think that the idea presented in Lesson 6 is very promising. It means in theory that I should be able to recognize that my own upset is only caused by thoughts. Very interesting.

Global perspective

All of humanity basically is still running around mistaking thoughts about things as pointing to causes for upset, when in reality the actual cause is the thoughts themselves.

Integral change

We as humans will become able to differentiate between upset and causes of upset. We will still be able to become upset, or else it's non-integral. The difference between our integral stage and current stage is that today we generally take our upset as something serious and absolute.

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Lesson 7 gives a reason for the previous lessons:

ACIM Lesson 7 - I see only the past.

1. This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.
It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything.
It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you.
It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.
It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.

2. Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about it. Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first.

3. Look at a cup, for example. Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of picking up a cup, be­ing thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast and so on? Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. Do you, then, really see it?

4. Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at. Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscrimi­nately to whatever catches your eye. For example:

I see only the past in this pencil.
I see only the past in this shoe.
I see only the past in this hand.
I see only the past in that body.
I see only the past in that face.

5. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-7/

Key insight from Lesson 7: Everything we experience is past information.

Detailed explanation

Where is the past? Lazy Yoga states that all the past is information in the present moment. And all experience is the past. And what meaning does the past have? In a relative sense the past has the meaning as defined earlier, that the meaning is dependent on context which in this case is also of the past from our personal experience.

To get the full meaning of the past requires the full context of all that is, and since we are only aware of the past and the contexts within the past it's impossible for us to get the full meaning of things. In Lazy Yoga causality is both from the past and also from the future. The future determines things that emerge in the present moment. And it's impossible for us to fully know the actual future because of the computational irreducibility Stephen Wolfram has shown.

Lazy Yoga states the same thing in essence as in ACIM Lesson 7.

Practical example

A woman is sitting by herself at a cafe and is solving a crossword puzzle. Every word in that crossword puzzle is from the past. All her knowledge about how to solve the puzzle is from the past. Even her experience in the moment of the cafe is past information even though it's only nanoseconds old information.

Personal consequences

I came to think of how the past is changeless information. And that from the big picture all that information is precisely what is necessary for my experience in the moment to be what it is. I can drop all concerns about regret and such things because from the bigger picture of what has happen in the past is that everything has happen correctly, even in my entire personal life.

I can still learn from my own and others' past mistakes. Something that was the right thing to do in the past can be the wrong thing to do now, and especially things done with lack of awareness and lack of knowledge.

Global perspective

Earth's entire history is past information in the present moment. And it is perfect information and exactly what has been needed. That also means that things on a global scale that was correct in the past can be the wrong thing to do today.

Integral change

The Lazy Yoga integral take here is that causality is not only from the past to the future. Causality is both from the past and from the future. And the integral change that will happen is that we learn how to become aware of that and transcend the old and entropy-ridden kind of causality.

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Here in Lesson 8 I found a direct mach between ACIM and Lazy Yoga:

ACIM Lesson 8 - My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

1. This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected outward. The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

2. The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to open­ing the way to vision.

4. The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. Introduce the practice period by saying:

I seem to be thinking about _________.

5. Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],

and so on, concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

6. This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-8/

Key insight from Lesson 8: We are thinking mostly in terms of the past even when we project into the future.

Detailed explanation

Notice this sentence from Lesson 8: "Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is."

That is exactly the same as what I described about the previous lesson in relation to Lazy Yoga. All past is in the present moment. The meaning of that is the same as ACIM saying that the present is the only time there is.

But what about the future? The answer is that the future is clearly not here yet. In Lazy Yoga the future is infinite information already determined yet not experienced yet. So the future isn't an actual part of time yet.

We have become conditioned to mistake our thoughts as being the same as what the thoughts are about. This creates a mental screen consisting of our own thoughts blocking our access to higher potentials. And the screen consists of past thoughts which are rehashed again and again. Being preoccupied with those past thoughts and the rehashing of them hinder new information from entering into our minds.

Lazy Yoga describes our current ordinary state as being stuck in a belief system formed though struggle against entropy. This is the same idea as presented in ACIM Lesson 8.

Practical example

Imagine a situation where you are driving to work and your mind is wandering into different scenarios made of thought. Notice how those thoughts often are about past events and that even when you think about the future it is mostly a rehashing of past experiences.

Personal consequences

I notice that my own thoughts are often about worrisome things that might happen in the future. I will examine my thinking more closely. At some point I hope to be able to overcome much of that worry.

Global perspective

Since all of humanity is trapped in the same situation of being preoccupied with past thoughts, our civilization has been and still is formed by that limited way of seeing reality. Habits are hard to break and some habits are useful so it's difficult to know exactly what direction to take into a more developed future.

Integral change

With an integral approach it's possible, and necessary, to include the old ways of doing things. It is therefore not so much our preoccupation with past thoughts that we need to work on but rather letting all that continue while at the same time be open for the possibility of change into new ways of experiencing reality.

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The present moment is dealt with further in Lesson 9:

ACIM Lesson 9 - I see nothing as it is now.

1. This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. You do not need to practice what you already understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.

2. It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

3. These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indis­criminate application, and the essential rule of excluding noth­ing. For example:

I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
I do not see this telephone as it is now.
I do not see this arm as it is now.

4. Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:

I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
I do not see that door as it is now.
I do not see that face as it is now.

5. It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-9/

Key insight from Lesson 9: The information in existence is always increasing so we never see things fully as they are.

Detailed explanation

Lazy Yoga describes time as infinite information being experienced now and only now. One current mainstream scientific view is that time is a result of our universe starting at a state of extremely low entropy and that the entropy in the universe is always increasing. Lazy Yoga contrasts that with the claim that entropy is a result of a limited perception of reality. In reality there is zero entropy all the time.

The amount of information in manifested reality on the other hand is always increasing. What science today mistake as being entropy is in reality complexity. What is complexity? Here is what Wikipedia says about complexity:

"Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions.[1]" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity

Lazy Yoga uses another definition of complexity.

Definition: Complexity is information with zero entropy.

As an example, a Blu-ray disc can contain a Hollywood movie. That's highly structured and organized digital information which can be seen as complexity. Contrast that with a Blu-ray disc filled with random information. That information seems more like entropy, disorder. Lazy Yoga says that even the seemingly random information is also complexity (information with zero entropy).

There is precise order even to the seemingly random information. It's just that we in ordinary daily life, even with the most sophisticated scientific instruments of today, can't see that order.

With all information in the universe increasing all the time and all information being complexity, there has to be a driving principle causing that expansion of complexity. New properties and structures emerge in the universe as time goes by which Lazy Yoga says is a result of this constant drive to ever higher order of structure and organization.

What we have in the present moment is a constant influx of new complexity caused by a highly intelligent pull into higher order of structure for the entire universe, not just locally in certain areas. What we experience is therefore always changing into ever higher states of being, which is the same as what ACIM Lesson 9 says. We see nothing as it is now and can only recognize things partially, never as things are in their totality.

Practical example

Let's take the example of looking at a tree. Do we see the tree as it is now? No, we don't. We can only grasp certain limited aspects about the tree.

Personal consequences

I find it first a bit disappointing that I never can experience anything and know the full reality of the experience. But then I see that this is necessary for there to be change into higher order of reality. Otherwise we would be stuck without change forever! So the lack of full knowledge is actually a blessing and a potential for personal growth and development.

Global perspective

We often fear change because of the lack of knowledge of what will happen. And with humanity's up till now constant struggle against an ever ongoing onslaught of entropy the fear is a natural consequence of that.

Integral change

The knowledge that there is a constant universal pull into higher order of reality allows us to change our rigid and protective beliefs. There is an automatic pull into more love (wholeness in harmony) along with the increasing complexity of the universe. Lazy Yoga is about overcoming entropy, and in a way this is already a fact and it's just that we need to recognize the universal support of the intelligent drive and escape our limited trap of beliefs.

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With Lesson 10 even the thoughts themselves are said to be without meaning:

ACIM Lesson 10 - My thoughts do not mean anything.

1. This idea applies to all the thoughts of which you are aware, or become aware in the practice periods. The reason the idea is applicable to all of them is that they are not your real thoughts. We have made this distinction before, and will do so again. You have no basis for comparison as yet. When you do, you will have no doubt that what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean anything.

2. This is the second time we have used this kind of idea. The form is only slightly different. This time the idea is introduced with “My thoughts” instead of “These thoughts,” and no link is made overtly with the things around you. The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.

3. This aspect of the correction process began with the idea that the thoughts of which you are aware are meaningless, outside rather than within; and then stressed their past rather than their present status. Now we are emphasizing that the presence of these “thoughts” means that you are not thinking. This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank. To recognize this is to recognize nothingness when you think you see it. As such, it is the prerequisite for vision.

4. Close your eyes for these exercises, and introduce them by repeating the idea for today quite slowly to yourself. Then add:

This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

The exercises consist, as before, in searching your mind for all the thoughts that are available to you, without selection or judg­ment. Try to avoid classification of any kind. In fact, if you find it helpful to do so, you might imagine that you are watching an oddly assorted procession going by, which has little if any personal meaning to you. As each one crosses your mind, say:

My thought about _________ does not mean anything.
My thought about _________ does not mean anything.

5. Today’s thought can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time. In addition, five practice periods are recommended, each involving no more than a minute or so of mind searching. It is not recommended that this time period be extended, and it should be reduced to half a minute or less if you experience discomfort. Remember, however, to repeat the idea slowly before applying it specifically, and also to add:

This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-10/

Key insight from Lesson 10: Not even our thoughts themselves have any meaning when identified with the ego.

Detailed explanation

Meaning as defined earlier depends on a context. And the biggest context for our thoughts is all of reality. However in our ego identification the context is the individual and personal mind itself. And then the context for the thoughts is the ego itself. This results in a circular context incapable of giving meaning due to the self-reference of it. A context cannot be its own context.

It can be said that the ego has a pseudo context, the appearance of a real context while in truth being a false context. So even the limited form of meaning the ego is giving to thoughts is false.

And this is how Lazy Yoga and ACIM Lesson 10 state the same thing,

Practical example

Someone is thinking about what to wear at a party the next evening. To the person those thoughts have meaning. It so happens in this case, as for most of us, that the person is trapped in ego identification. The meaning of the thoughts therefore only exists within the context of the person's own mind which we just described as being a false context. And that's why people can have different meaning attached to the same experiences.

Personal consequences

Yikes, this is getting pretty hardcore. I don't remember A Course in Miracles being this tough. Not even my thoughts themselves having any meaning? That's something I need to ponder for a while.

Global perspective

The alienation and separation between people all over the world is understandable from the perspective of Lesson 10. All of us who are still identified with our egos, and that's still almost all people, are thinking a lot all the time without realizing the lack of meaning of those thoughts.

Integral change

We need to become able to have true meaning to our thoughts. And that is done in an integral way by keeping our ability of having personal and individual thoughts while having those thoughts being corrected to reflect true meaning.

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Now it gets even tougher with Lesson 11 claiming that our whole worldview is meaningless:

ACIM Lesson 11 - My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

1. This is the first idea we have had that is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today’s idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. Be glad indeed to practice the idea in its initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure. The key to forgiveness lies in it.

2. The practice periods for today’s idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. Begin with your eyes closed, and repeat the idea slowly to yourself. Then open your eyes and look about, near and far, up and down,—any­where. During the minute or so to be spent in using the idea merely repeat it to yourself, being sure to do so without haste, and with no sense of urgency or effort.

3. To do these exercises for maximum benefit, the eyes should move from one thing to another fairly rapidly, since they should not linger on anything in particular. The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. The introduc­tion to this idea, in particular, should be practiced as casually as possible. It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. On conclud­ing the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more slowly to yourself.

4. Three practice periods today will probably be sufficient. How­ever, if there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as five may be undertaken. More than this is not recommended.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-11/

Key insight from Lesson 11: We have the wrong concept of meaning for everything.

Detailed explanation

Again, meaning has to be evaluated in relation to which context we are talking about. Relative meaning can be found within the context of all that is. From the biggest perspective that exists, meaning becomes impossible since as we saw, the context of everything lacks a larger context to give itself meaning.

From that logic it becomes clear that all our thoughts are meaningless showing us a meaningless world from a universal perspective. Universal in the sense of everything, including the possibility that our universe is a smaller part of a larger multiverse.

Are we then stuck in meaninglessness? How can we do the seemingly impossible and transcend all that is? From a Lazy Yoga perspective that's actually an easy thing to do. Everything that exists excludes all that will be, it excludes the future. So there is a potential larger context for everything as in every-thing, all of manifested reality.

The present moment is an ongoing process of turning the future potential into manifested reality. And when we fail to include that potential novelty turning into actual manifestation, moment by moment, we make meaning impossible from our own largest possible perspective.

This addition of potential context in addition to all possible manifested contexts makes Lazy Yoga able to explain ACIM Lesson 11.

Practical example

Let's say that we are at a casino and are looking at a roulette wheel spinning to see what number will come up. Due to the nonlinearity of the wheel and the ball, and the event being subject to chaos, it's impossible for us to accurately predict what the winning number will be. Still, the potential of the future determines the actual outcome as wheel slows down and the ball falling into one of the pockets.

When we take into account the future potential we have meaning in relation to it. And when we fail to do that and are only looking at what exists at the moment, we are only looking at the past which removes the possibility for universal meaning.

Personal consequences

I will practice becoming more aware of the future potential flowing into each moment. I myself am identified with my ego and therefore according to both ACIM and Lazy Yoga see only the past. I understand that intellectually but it's another thing to realize it in practice.

Global perspective

Collectively we need to include future potential as a part of the context within which we experience meaning. Not future potential as in our own projections about possible future scenarios with planning and so on. We have done that for millennia. And it has blocked us from seeing true meaning.

Integral change

The integral change that needs to happen is to include both the past and the potential future producing change. Without taking the change in the moment into account we remain having meaningless thoughts and are seeing a meaningless world.

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Lesson 12 connects the previous lesson with the lessons about being upset:

ACIM Lesson 12 - I am upset because I see a meaningless world.

1. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself.

2. These exercises are done with eyes open. Look around you, this time quite slowly. Try to pace yourself so that the slow shift­ing of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. Do not allow the time of the shift to be­come markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a meas­ured, even tempo throughout. What you see does not matter. You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.

3. As you look about you, say to yourself:

I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,

and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. For example, you might think of “a good world,” or “a satisfying world.” If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. You may not yet understand why these “nice” adjectives belong in these exercises but remember that a“good world” implies a “bad” one, and a “satisfying world” im­plies an “unsatisfying” one. All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. Their seeming quality does not matter.

4. Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between apply­ing today’s idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. For the purposes of these exercises, there is no dif­ference between them. At the end of the practice period, add:

But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.

5. What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is mean­ingless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. Beneath your words is written the Word of God. The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.

6. Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today. Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. You may find even this too long. Terminate the exercises whenever you experi­ence a sense of strain.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-12/

Key insight from Lesson 12: Our whole worldview lacks meaning when we are identified as egos.

Detailed explanation

Is the world meaningless in itself? Yes, when we look at our whole world as the context, then meaning can only exist within that context, not for the whole world in itself, so it is meaningless in that sense. Our thoughts about things in our world potentially have meaning. The problem is as explained in previous lessons that our thoughts are only about the past, even when we think about the future.

Failing to include the actual future potential and the change it brings makes our thoughts meaningless. Lesson 12 mentions that we will see the Word of God beneath our meaningless thoughts. Lazy Yoga doesn't use the word God, but the automatic and intelligent pull from the future serves the same purpose. So it's compatible with ACIM using the term God. And the Word of God is the same as the information in the past together with the potential information in the future, so also that is compatible with Lazy Yoga which is neutral regarding religious beliefs and atheism.

Is it possible to change our thoughts so that we take the future potential into account and making the thoughts have real meaning? Yes, but not by thinking of it with our current state of mind. The future is a different kind of context than the past. Our ordinary thinking cannot grasp the actual future potential and only deals with past information.

What is necessary is a surrender to the change in the moment. The ego usually rejects any ideas of surrendering itself. The good news is that with the understanding that it's impossible to use thoughts based on the past to access the future context, surrender becomes desirable, even to the ego!

Practical example

Think of news about a financial crisis coming. This makes many people in the world start thinking worrisome thoughts. All those thoughts are meaningless in themselves, and even if a financial crisis indeed happens that crisis is meaningless in itself. The meaning people attach to the financial crisis is a distorted kind of meaning.

Personal consequences

I'm excited about the possibility of having my thinking changed by surrendering to the change in the moment. I expect to continue to think as usual with the difference that new ideas and experiences will start to flow into my life.

Global perspective

For the world to change, we as individuals need to change. It's very much about a spiritual awakening, or at least an evolutionary leap seen from a secular position.

Integral change

Transcend and include of our ordinary thinking is achieved simply by surrendering to the change in the present moment and letting the intelligence of the future potential flow into our lives.

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The concept of fear is introduced in Lesson 13:

ACIM Lesson 13 - A meaningless world engenders fear.

1. Today’s idea is really another form of the preceding one, except that it is more specific as to the emotion aroused. Actually, a meaningless world is impossible. Nothing without meaning ex­ists. However, it does not follow that you will not think you perceive something that has no meaning. On the contrary, you will be particularly likely to think you do perceive it.

2. Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and the ego “challenge” each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own impo­tence and unreality. And on this alone it is correct.

3. It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the mean­ingless, and accept it without fear. If you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes that it does not possess, and crowd it with images that do not exist. To the ego illusions are safety devices, as they must also be to you who equate yourself with the ego.

4. The exercises for today, which should be done about three or four times for not more than a minute or so at most each time, are to be practiced in a somewhat different way from the preceding ones. With eyes closed, repeat today’s idea to yourself. Then open your eyes, and look about you slowly, saying:

I am looking at a meaningless world.

Repeat this statement to yourself as you look about. Then close your eyes, and conclude with:

A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God.

5. You may find it difficult to avoid resistance, in one form or another, to this concluding statement. Whatever form such resistance may take, remind yourself that you are really afraid of such a thought because of the “vengeance” of the “enemy.” You are not expected to believe the statement at this point, and will prob­ably dismiss it as preposterous. Note carefully, however, any signs of overt or covert fear which it may arouse.

6. This is our first attempt at stating an explicit cause and effect relationship of a kind which you are very inexperienced in recognizing. Do not dwell on the concluding statement, and try not even to think of it except during the practice periods. That will suffice at present.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-13/

Key insight from Lesson 13: Fear is caused by the ego's interpretation of the world.

Detailed explanation

At first it's useful to define what fear is.

Definition: Fear is confusion turned into protection.

That's the Lazy Yoga definition of fear. We will see what definition ACIM uses. It's likely different yet having the same essential meaning. Confusion is a result of having the mind limited to only the past. As mentioned earlier, even when we think about the future it is past information in our mind turned into a projection of what the future might be, not the actual future.

And in our state of confusion fear serves a useful purpose of protection. Fear is better than confusion. At least fear can protect us while confusion leads nowhere. So there is logic to fear. The problem is that fear keeps us trapped in a low stage of human development. We fill the lack of meaning of the world with our own thoughts based on fear. That's what the title of Lesson 13 means.

The way out of fear is through accessing the context of the actual future which comes to us constantly in the present moment. When we are identified with the ego this stream of higher intelligence from the pull of the future is blocked. And instead of growing out of fear, the ego perpetuates and cultivates the fear.

Practical example

In this example a man is planning a trip to Paris. In his mind there are desires for things to do in Paris but there are also a lot of fearful thoughts about the trip in his mind. This is how we operate when identified with the ego. There is always fear tainting our thinking.

Person consequences

I notice that I have a lot of fear in most of my thinking. One of my goals is to transcend that kind of fearful thinking.

Global perspective

Our whole world is still fear-based and fear dominates everything we do even when we are unaware of it on a conscious level. The fear remains in our subconscious. Our task as humanity is to move out of the state of fear into love. Remember, even fear is a form of love, everything is, but it's a disguised and separated kind of love that's only necessary during early growth and development of a civilization.

Integral change

Then what about transcend and include? How is fear included if we transcend it? From an integral perspective fear will be included. The difference is that the fear will no longer be experienced as the serious and harmful kind of fear we have today. Instead it will be more like the kind of fear we experience when watching a horror move or riding a roller coaster, more like a thrill than suffering.

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Here is Lesson 14 God's world is contrasted with our mistaken view of it:

ACIM Lesson 14 - God did not create a meaningless world.

1. The idea for today is, of course, the reason why a meaningless world is impossible. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.

2. The exercises for today are to be practiced with eyes closed throughout. The mind-searching period should be short, a min­ute at most. Do not have more than three practice periods with today’s idea unless you find them comfortable. If you do, it will be because you really understand what they are for.

3. The idea for today is another step in learning to let go the thoughts that you have written on the world, and see the Word of God in their place. The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. Some of them will lead you directly into fear. You will not be left there. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace.

4. With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say, for example:

God did not create that war, and so it is not real.
God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real.
God did not create that disaster [specify], and so it is not real.

5. Suitable subjects for the application of today’s idea also in­clude anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned. In each case, name the “disaster” quite specifically. Do not use general terms. For example, do not say, “God did not create illness,” but, “God did not create cancer,” or heart attacks, or whatever may arouse fear in you.

6. This is your personal repertory of horrors at which you are looking. These things are part of the world you see. Some of them are shared illusions, and others are part of your personal hell. It does not matter. What God did not create can only be in your own mind apart from His. Therefore, it has no meaning. In recognition of this fact, conclude the practice periods by repeat­ing today’s idea:

God did not create a meaningless world.

7. The idea for today can, of course, be applied to anything that disturbs you during the day, aside from the practice periods. Be very specific in applying it. Say:

God did not create a meaningless world. He did not create [specify the situation which is disturbing you], and so it is not real.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-14/

Key insight from Lesson 14: Our mistaken view of the world can be corrected.

Detailed explanation

Lazy Yoga doesn't explicitly include the concept of God in order to be applicable to both spirituality and atheism. Nevertheless the Word of God is a useful term so it is defined here.

Definition: The Word of God is infinite and timeless information.

In this way Lazy Yoga is made compatible with A Course in Miracles without needing to introduce a belief or nonbelief in God.

While we are at it the term Christ is also defined.

Definition: Christ is the manifestation of the Word of God.

This definition of Christ is in agreement with both ACIM and Christianity and even atheism since Jesus as a person (the Word of God made flesh [John 1:14]) is left out of this definition used in Lazy Yoga. The advantage of this is that the term Christ then becomes compatible with all religions including Buddhism, atheism and other belief systems.

In our ego identification we see only the past and only from our illusion of separation. Later on ACIM will use the term sin and equate it with insanity. As a preparation even the term sin within Lazy Yoga is defined here .

Definition: Sin is the ego's illusion of separation.

That should be close enough to ACIM's meaning of sin and it also matches fairly well the original meaning of the word sin:

"The English Biblical terms translated as "sin" or "syn" from the Biblical Greek and Jewish terms sometimes originate from words in the latter languages denoting the act or state of missing the mark; the original sense of New Testament Greek ἁμαρτία hamartia "sin", is failure, being in error, missing the mark, especially in spear throwing;[3] Hebrew hata "sin" originates in archery and literally refers to missing the "gold" at the centre of a target, but hitting the target, i.e. error.[4] "To sin" has been defined from a Greek concordance as "to miss the mark".[5]" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin

What we miss (missing the mark) in our state of sin is the larger context of the actual future and the intelligent and constant pull into the future. We then also have a mistaken view of causality as only being from past to future.

And with that mistaken view we see a meaningless world since the larger context is blocked from our experience. By correcting the state of sin by including the actual future the world becomes meaningful in the correct way.

Practical example

When a natural disaster happens we see that as a random or chaotic event. It's because of our mistaken view of the world that we interpret the natural disaster in this way. In reality the natural disaster is a part of the Word of God which is only information. So there ultimately is no actual destruction caused by the natural disaster.

The natural disaster is real in our experience though, and other horrors like that remain as long as the world is in a state of sin.

Personal consequences

I will start examining my own sin, in the sense of how sin has been defined here as simply being a mistaken view.

Global perspective

Humanity has been in a state of sin throughout all of our mainstream view of history. And earth has been in a state of sin throughout its whole geological record in the form of the global ego. That's why natural disasters happen and why nature still often is cruel or at least primitive in its manifestation here on earth.

Integral change

Correcting sin will change both our personal lives and our whole planet. The integral perspective is that what has happened in the past is a valuable and necessary stage as a foundation for reaching higher levels of development. And what has happened in the past will be transcended, yes, but also included. So what is valuable in our world today will remain even after humanity has transcended sin.

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Lesson 15 is about how our thoughts are distorted:

ACIM Lesson 15 - My thoughts are images that I have made.

1. It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as im­ages that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your “seeing” was made. This is the function you have given your body’s eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.

2. This introductory idea to the process of image making that you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

3. As we go along, you may have many “light episodes.” They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. But they will prepare the way to it.

4. In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:

This _________ is an image that I have made.
That _________ is an image that I have made
.

It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today’s idea. It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.

5. Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. Do not have more than three application periods for today’s idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four. However, the idea can be applied as needed throughout the day.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-15/

Key insight from Lesson 15: All our thoughts are distorted by the ego.

Detailed explanation

Our thoughts are formed within our own context in the mind. And since in our ego identification we have a false context made out of a limited and mistaken view of reality, all our thoughts are distorted. We need to recognize the trap we are stuck in as long as the ego is all that we experience.

Even our sense perceptions have become distorted by the ego limitation. When we for example look at something then our interpretation of the meaning of what we look at is made within the false ego context.

Lesson 15 says that our thoughts are images we have made. What it means is that "I have made" in the title of the lesson refers to ego identification and not the true self. We will see how ACIM starts by talking about "I" and "you" when describing ourselves in ego identification and will then start using the term ego directly more. Later on ACIM will talk about the Holy Spirit but I'm jumping the gun here.

In Lazy Yoga the ego as defined earlier is the separate self in the mind. So far the ego means the same thing as in ACIM. In Lazy Yoga there is also the global ego, which is still a separation in the mind, when mind refers to every-thing that is (consciousness is a state, not a thing).

Practical example

Traditional mindfulness practice is about nonjudgmentally observing our thoughts and senses. That's useful for training the mind to recognize the difference between being trapped in the stream of thoughts and stepping into a higher state of awareness where we become a passive observer of our thoughts instead of being immersed and identified with them.

The biggest problem however with mindfulness practice is the lack of understanding that all our thoughts are distorted. We can go on mindfully and passively observe our thoughts pass by in our mind until we are blue in the face, and no deepest change will happen! The intelligent pull from the future is still blocked and the thoughts just perpetuate themselves within the limited and false ego context.

Personal consequences

I will start recognizing all my thoughts as being false. That's a huge step for me and it means that I need to start practicing mindfulness in my everyday life now and then with the additional knowledge that my all thoughts I am observing are distorted.

Global perspective

To suggest that all our thinking is distorted is still a radical proposal in the world today. Usually we think of our own thinking as accurately reflecting the world around us and our own life situation.

Integral change

With all ego thoughts being distorted there will be no possibility of keeping that going after transcending the ego. What will happen instead is that the knowledge and our experiences will be preserved but become radically recontextualized within the new and corrected context that involves the intelligent pull from the actual future.

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Now in Lesson 16 the concept of love vs fear is introduced:

ACIM Lesson 16 - I have no neutral thoughts.

1. The idea for today is a beginning step in dispelling the belief that your thoughts have no effect. Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact. Thoughts are not big or little; powerful or weak. They are merely true or false. Those that are true create their own likeness. Those that are false make theirs.

2. There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of “idle thoughts.” What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so.

3. Besides your recognizing that thoughts are never idle, salva­tion requires that you also recognize that every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear. A neutral result is impossible because a neutral thought is impossible. There is such a temptation to dismiss fear thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you rec­ognize them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal. We will practice this idea in many forms before you really under­stand it.

4. In applying the idea for today, search your mind for a minute or so with eyes closed, and actively seek not to overlook any “little” thought that may tend to elude the search. This is quite difficult until you get used to it. You will find that it is still hard for you not to make artificial distinctions. Every thought that occurs to you, regardless of the qualities that you assign to it, is a suitable subject for applying today’s idea.

5. In the practice periods, first repeat the idea to yourself, and then as each one crosses your mind hold it in awareness while you tell yourself:

This thought about _________ is not a neutral thought.
That thought about _________ is not a neutral thought.

As usual, use today’s idea whenever you are aware of a particu­lar thought that arouses uneasiness. The following form is sug­gested for this purpose:

This thought about ____________ is not a neutral thought, because I have no neutral thoughts.

6. Four or five practice periods are recommended, if you find them relatively effortless. If strain is experienced, three will be enough. The length of the exercise period should also be re­duced if there is discomfort.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-16/

Key insight from Lesson 16: All our thoughts, both big and small, have the same fundamental error when trapped in the ego.

Detailed explanation

Lesson 16 says that "every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear" in relation to salvation. I looked up the standard definition of salvation just to be sure:

"Salvation (Latin: salvatio; Ancient Greek: σωτηρία, romanized: sōtēría; Hebrew: גאולה‎, romanized: g'ulah; Arabic: الخلاص‎, romanized: al-khalāṣ) is being saved or protected from harm[1] or being saved or delivered from a dire situation.[2] In religion, salvation is the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences.[3]" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvation

Salvation meaning saved from sin as is one of the meanings in the Wikipedia quote is good enough for Lazy Yoga and my take is that this is also what ACIM means by salvation.

In ego identification all thoughts are distorted and also lack true meaning. And Lesson 16 makes it clear that there is actually no greater or lesser error in our thoughts; they are all equally false when we are the ego. This is also what Lazy Yoga can agree on. There is always the fundamental error of missing the intelligent pull from the future in all ego thoughts.

Salvation means removing the block, removing the veil that makes the ego experience itself as separate, and thereby revealing (revelation, apocalypse [means unveiling]) the true nature of reality. Salvation brings love while ego identification keeps us trapped in fear.

Practical example

We can have thoughts such as when daydreaming and come up with different fantasy scenarios, and we can have other thoughts about what we consider to be serious personal problems. It may seem that those are entirely different kinds of thoughts, the fantasy type harmless and the problematic thoughts serious, but both kinds have the same fundamental error. Both kinds of those thoughts are sinful (in the sense of sin meaning illusion of separation).

Personal consequences

I will use Lesson 16 as an opportunity to examine my own thoughts and see if I can start recognizing that all my thoughts have the same fundamental error caused by being identified with my ego.

Global perspective

It's a fact that human thought has been the cause of a tremendous amount of conflict and suffering in the world, and still is! So ACIM may have a point here and is showing us one of the more fundamental errors in our thinking.

Integral change

Distorted thoughts can be transcended but not included. If we keep our distorted thoughts it means we are still trapped in ego separation and blocked from the true perception of reality. On the other hand it is possible to include distortion as a layer on top of our corrected thinking. It's possible to add distortion on top of clear thinking while it's impossible to add clear thinking on top of a distorted mind.

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Lesson 17 introduces the concept of cause and effect for our perception:

ACIM Lesson 17 - I see no neutral things.

1. This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. If it were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself be the cause of reality. In view of its highly variable nature, this is hardly likely.

2. In applying today’s idea, say to yourself, with eyes open:

I see no neutral things because I have no neutral thoughts.

Then look about you, resting your glance on each thing you note long enough to say:

I do not see a neutral _____, because my thoughts about _________ are not neutral.

For example, you might say:

I do not see a neutral wall, because my thoughts about walls are not neutral.
I do not see a neutral body, because my thoughts about bodies are not neutral.

3. As usual, it is essential to make no distinctions between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything that is really alive or really joyous. That is because you are un­aware as yet of any thought that is really true, and therefore really happy.

4. Three or four specific practice periods are recommended, and no less than three are required for maximum benefit, even if you experience resistance. However, if you do, the length of the prac­tice period may be reduced to less than the minute or so that is otherwise recommended.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-17/

Key insight from Lesson 17: There is always meaning to what we experience but distorted by the ego (so meaningless in that sense).

Detailed explanation

In order to explain something there has to be a cause and effect situation people can follow. For example "the lemonade was both sweet and sour because it was both sugar and lemon in it". Compare that to a claim like "there is such thing as true randomness in our universe". Then what is the cause of the randomness? It doesn't compute. Lazy Yoga says that reality is deterministic and also that everything is already determined. It's just that we haven't experienced all of reality yet, and never will since there is an infinite amount of information to manifest.

There is still free will according to Lazy Yoga in the sense of Stephen Wolfram's explanation of free will in a deterministic world. It's not like the mechanical kind of determinism proposed by Laplace in the eighteen hundreds where the future can be fully and accurately predicted by knowing the past. According to Wolfram's computational irreducibility it's impossible, even in theory, to fully predict the future. And our free will is necessary as a means of manifesting the future. We cannot "cheat" and jump ahead into the future. We actually have to perform actions with our free will as a part of reality itself. It's emulated free will one might say.

And the cause of suffering in our world is our own limited and mistaken perception and experience here on earth. There is a purpose behind this limitation. Limiting a planet and the species on it enables our civilization to develop on its own which produces creativity and uniqueness. If we would have had a paradise on earth from the dawn of history not much creativity, growth and development would happen. Still, this limitation, not only the "fall of humanity" but the entire planet being in this state of limitation, is causing a tremendous amount of suffering. And according to Lazy Yoga we have now as humanity and as a planet reached a level of development where transcending sin becomes possible for all of humankind.

Reality is one whole and interconnected process according to Lazy Yoga. This means that there is fundamentally no difference between a blade of grass, a star and a human being. It's all a result of information becoming manifested moment by moment. The difference appear as a second order phenomenon and when we have a distorted perception we get a wrong view of the world and of our lives.

Practical example

We might think that for example a wedding is a very important event and that eating a vegan hamburger at Burger King is a neutral event. But that's because of our own perception of those events. There can be different meanings between events, and usually is; the question is what is the true meaning of the events.

Personal consequences

I will explore the possibility that everything is already determined. For example, is it possible to transcend the ego automatically without other effort than getting a true understanding? That's the idea with Lazy Yoga, and that's why it's called lazy. Ordinary laziness when done by the ego is usually something bad. With true understanding the laziness becomes the correct approach instead of struggling with wrong ideas. And then I need to learn, not only intellectually but also in practice, that I can drop my effort and even drop my effort to learn it!

Global perspective

Today philosophers, religious scholars and others still debate whether reality is deterministic or not. If Lazy Yoga is correct then humanity will come to realize that yes, the world is deterministic.

Integral change

To the ego, the idea of a deterministic reality is undesirable. Even worse, with the future already determined, that depresses the ego even more! So what is necessary is that the ego is transcended along with the realization that the world is determined. The ego thinks mechanically and sees determinism mechanically, with a mindless cause and effect from past to future. That's of course one of the distorted perceptions the ego has.

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Lesson 18 points out our collective delusion:

ACIM Lesson 18 - I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.

1. The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined, which will be given increasing stress later on.

2. Today’s idea does not refer to what you see as much as to how you see it. Therefore, the exercises for today emphasize this aspect of your perception. The three or four practice periods which are recommended should be done as follows:

3. Look about you, selecting subjects for the application of the idea for today as randomly as possible, and keeping your eyes on each one long enough to say:

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see _____.

Conclude each practice period by repeating the more general statement:

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.

A minute or so, or even less, will be sufficient for each practice period.

https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-18/

Key insight from Lesson 18: Humanity shares the same ego delusion.

Detailed explanation

In one of his videos, Leo made a great comparison of Lego bricks with first and second order reality. The Lego bricks themselves represent first order reality, the fundamental building blocks. And the different figures and things made out of those Lego bricks represent second order reality. This matches how Lazy Yoga says that first order reality (the Lego bricks themselves in the analogy) is information and the second order reality is all the different kinds of things we experience such as atoms, cars, human beings, and computers.

The ego is a second order construct. This makes it clear that the idea that the ego itself can change reality absurd. The ego cannot change anything, no more that how a figure made out of Lego bricks can change the Lego bricks themselves.

And our whole world is a second order construct where all our egos share the same fundamental delusion of separation and belief in having power as lonely individuals.

Practical example

We all believe we are responsible for our actions when identified in the collective second order ego construct. That's a complete delusion and a false belief. We as individuals aren't capable of doing anything.

Personal consequences

This is radical stuff. I need to examine the idea of first and second order reality more, and hopefully Leo will post more videos about it. The logic is clear but the consequence makes it seem like I'm just a second order puppet being moved by first order forces. I know that this is my limited ego view and that the real situation isn't separate like that, but still, I need to grasp this more in practice.

Global perspective

Our whole planet and the entire universe is a second order construct.

Integral change

The integral perspective is that we need to include both first order and second order reality in our experience. It's not a separation like how our egos experience it. It's a both/and situation again, and ultimately we are made of first order information and are both first and second order beings.

 

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